Last night I dreamed that I was seeing a therapist in a room full of robots reminiscent of gigantic Barbies with bad hair. As I told the therapist what I’d been feeling, she began tossing out scenarios she presumed I’d been experiencing. They all involved sex. The creepy Barbie-bots echoed her words then acted each scenario out while I stood there, entranced by the eroti-charades.
Totally cliché. I know!
Maybe not. But most everyone has sexual dreams on occasion, ranging from sizzling fantasies involving a partner, crush or celeb, to less exciting installments involving blasé sex or quirky characters. Women and men are both known to dream of sex by day and night, climax amid sleep and wake up hot, bothered and ready. (Rarr!)
While dream analysis remains controversial, many psychologists believe that the events in dreams and, more importantly, how we feel about and describe them, can reveal a great deal about our emotional lives. If I’d been scared of the Barbie-bots in my dream, for example, that fear might reflect anxiety in my daily life—related or unrelated to sex. I was more or less studying what was happening—mentally exploring and intrigued. That could describe most any day in my life.
It’s difficult to argue that the significance of dreams varies significantly between individuals. That said, numerous psychological experts have observed some generalities.
Common Sex Dreams, Decoded
In a recent Cosmo feature Patricia Garfield, PhD, an internationally recognized authority on dreams and author of Creative Dreaming, analyzed common sexual dreams. Here are a few highlights:
The dream: You’re getting hot and heavy with your boss or best pal.
Garfield’s interpretation: “You probably admire a quality that person possesses and want to develop it within yourself. Maybe you crave the head honcho’s success or wish you had your friend’s confidence.”
The dream: Sex with one of Hollywood’s hottest.
Garfield’s interpretation: “To singles, it’s a reminder that amazing prospects are out there, and it also clues you in to the kind of man you want. If you’re already one half of a twosome, it may point to a yearning for a trait your guy lacks or—if you’re blissfully content—affirm you’ve scored with a star-quality man.”
The dream: Flying. (It may be more sex-geared than you think…)
Garfield’s interpretation: “The freewheeling rush you get from whizzing through the air could be a mental celebration of great sex. The thrilling sensations in the dream are similar to the high you experience when you climax.” If you haven’t had a hot hookup lately, the aerial illusions may relate to an intense romantic encounter, she added, such as a first date gone right or hearing the L-word from your partner for the first time.
5 Facts About Frisky Dreams
1. The deeper the sleep, the saucier our dreams will likely be. When we’re in the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep cycle, our nervous system fires up, much the way it does when we’re sexually aroused. These physiological changes make way for erotic dreams, says Kelly Bulkeley, PhD, a dream researcher at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
2. We’re most likely to recall sex dreams when we wake up suddenly, according to a recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology. This is because sudden wakefulness stimulates alpha waves in the brain, which are associated with dream recall. So if you want to recall more sexy dreams, an alarm clock may help. (Frequent wakers are also more likely to recall dreams than people who snooze through the night, according to the study.)
3. Wet dreams affect many females. Few people realize that girls are prone to nocturnal climaxes during puberty. Sexuality educator and relationships expert Laura Berman, PhD recommends that parents discuss the possibility of wet dreams with pre-pubescent children (particularly girls), so that they understand that such dreams are perfectly normal and healthy if or when they arise.
4. Homosexual dreams are common, regardless of our sexual orientation. They’re healthy and normal, and could represent a variety of scenarios, say numerous dream analysts, from having a rift with a friend of the same gender to learning to embrace parts of ourselves we’ve previously been averse to. Other relatively common dreams involve sex with a stranger, having weird genitalia and getting busy with a friend’s partner.
5. Sleeping positions can cause or deter sexual dreams. A study conducted at Hong Kong Shue Yan University in 2012 showed that of 670 people surveyed, those who slept facedown had significantly more sex-related dreams than those who didn’t. Researchers speculated that genital-to-bed contact increases the likelihood of sex dreams. I imagine sleeping naked and sexy thoughts before bed also help.
I told you mine… Now tell me yours! Any sexual dreams you’re comfortable sharing? Would you like me and other readers to take a (for fun) stab at analyzing?? What do you WISH you’d dream? I love hearing your respectful thoughts! ♥